plankto-, plankt-, -plankton

(Greek: passively drifting, wandering, or roaming)

nanoplankton (s) (noun), nanoplanktons (pl)
Minute, or very tiny, plant or animal creatures that can pass through a 0.03-0.04 mm mesh silk bolting cloth: The autotrophic nanoplankton of minute size are composed of organisms measuring from two to twenty microns in size, and are smaller than 40 microns in diameter.
nanoplanktonic (adjective) (not comparable)
Pertaining to diminutive animal or plant organisms that can pass through a very fine mesh net: June read about nanoplanktonic creatures that were so tiny, less than 40 microns in diameter!
neidioplankton (s) (noun), neidioplankton; neidioplanktons (pl)
Small life forms possessing some kind of swimming locomotion: Some plankton just float or drift around while others, like neidioplankton, are able to propel themselves in the water.
neritoplankton (s) (noun), neritoplankton; neritoplanktons (pl)
Little animal or plant creatures of shallow continental shelf waters: Since Norman lived right at the edge of the sea, he became quite interested in plankton, especially the neritoplankton, that existed in the shallow parts relatively close to the shore.
neroplankton (s) (noun), neroplankton; neroplanktons (pl)
Minute forms of life that is derived from coastal waters: Mr. Timmons talked about neroplankton that evidently was found in the water at the seashore and examined by the science laboratories in town.
neuroplankton (s) (noun), neuroplankton; neuroplanktons (pl)
Small oceanic creatures found only at certain seasons of the year: Greg was disappointed that he couldn't find any neuroplankton because it was just the wrong time of year!
phagoplankton (s) (noun), phagoplankton; phagoplanktons (pl)
Autotrophic algae or algae that is capable of securing its own food: Phagoplankton are actively able to get their own nutrients from inorganic substances, for example by using light, as opposed to being parasitic.
phaoplankton (s) (noun), phaoplankton; phaoplanktons (pl)
Plankton that occurs only in depths to which enough light penetrates: Phaoplankton are surface plankton that thrive at depths between 30 and 500 meters where photosynthesis can take place.
phytioplankton (s) (noun), phytioplankton; phytioplanktons (pl)
The small oceanic creature that floats by means of cysts or bladders: Martin was amazed that some plankton, as the phytioplankton, use their vesicle or other body sacs to stay afloat and drift on the surface of the sea or ocean water.
phytoplankter (s) (noun), phytoplankters (pl)
One single minute plant of the planktonic life structure: The phytoplankter that Nigel identified was very small, could only be distributed by the movement of water, or had flagella as certain algae have.
phytoplankton (s) (noun), phytoplanktons (pl)
Planktonic plant life: Phytoplanktons typically comprise suspended microscopic algai cells, such as diatoms (unicellular organisms) and desmids.

The phytoplanktons consist of small plants having very limited powers of locomotion or no movement at all. They are mostly subject to distribution by water movements and they photosynthesize, producing the first level in an ocean's food chain.

Certain planktonic algae move by means of flagella, or possess various mechanisms that alter their buoyancy. Most algae are slightly denser than water, and sink into the sediment of the water.

Phytoplanktons are largely restricted to lentic ("standing") waters and large rivers with relatively low current velocities.

phytoplanktonic (adjective) (not comparable)
Small plants and other photosynthetic creatures: Cyanobacteria, diatoms, and dinoflagellates are all considered to be phytoplanktonic organisms.
picoplankton (s) (noun), picoplankton (pl)
Tiny plant or animal organisms ranging in size from 0.2 to 2.0 micrometers: Picoplankton are important in making up a meaningful part of the complete biomass of the phytoplankton population.

The cells of the picoplankton can be prokaryotic and eukaryotic phototrophs and heterotrophs.

Great fleas have little fleas upon their backs to bite ’em,
And little fleas have lesser fleas, and ad infinitum.
And the great fleas themselves, in turn, have greater fleas to go on;
While these again have greater still, and greater still, and so on.
— Augustus de Morgan, noting the expanding scales of life and their connections.
picoplanktonic (adjective) (not comparable)
A reference to minute plankton varying in size from 0.2 to 2.0 micrometers: At the smallest scale, life on Earth is made possible by humble photosynthetic organisms called phytoplankton, which lie at the base of the ocean food chain and produce most of Earth’s oxygen.

The smallest among them, called picoplankton, make up in number what they lack in size. Picoplankton, including bacteria, photosynthetic, and nonphotosynthetic cells, are the most abundant organisms on Earth. Studying them is a challenge, however, since they are too small to see, like dark matter making up most of the ocean universe.

plankter (s) (noun), plankters (pl)
An individual or single member of all the tiny free-floating organisms that wander in fresh or salt water, such as the seas and oceans: As a student of planktology, Josh spent a great deal of time at the Pacific Ocean near California trying to identify the varieties of plankters that randomly moved from place to place in the water.

For more details about planktonic life, see Plankton Varieties.

Inter-related cross references, directly or indirectly, involving the "sea" and the "ocean" bodies of water: abysso- (bottomless); Atlantic; batho-, bathy- (depth); bentho- (deep, depth); halio-, halo- (salt or "the sea"); mare, mari- (sea); necto-, nekto- (swimming); oceano-; pelago- (sea, ocean); thalasso- (sea, ocean).